The City That Never Sleeps

Country Mouse is in the big city and I have to tell you, New York is not for everybody. Sure there are awesome restaurants on every corner, but there are also 1284 people per square foot, and a lot of them are smelly. Still, my trip has been fun.


I now no longer want to drive MYSELF to the airport like some kind of commoner. There is something nice about seeing your name in a car with LIMO plates. It’s even nicer when you don’t have to actually pay for it.



As soon as we got checked in to the hotel, we made our way down the street for some Italian food. I did extensive research for the trip and had a list of all of the restaurants and/or food trucks in our vicinity. Just kidding, we just walked until we found a place that didn’t say $28.00 per entree.

I was so tired from traveling I made the family come back to the hotel for a nap. The city may never sleep but I do! I woke up in time to go dinner, then we hit the hay.






This morning we sent JD down to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast, then we hit the town. First stop, the SUBWAY.


People in New York always act like traveling is so easy – “It’s just a couple of stops on the Red Line.” WhatEVER. We took THREE different trains and made FOURTEEN stops to go FOUR miles.



That’s the Statue of Liberty back there. We could have taken the boat over but after all of those stops, I was about tired of New York Mass Transit.


It was a short walk to the Freedom Tower.


The 9/11 Memorial was very impressive and incredibly moving. We went inside to the museum and even though it was hard, I wish every American could go through it. They’ve done a great job memorializing those lost that day.

After another quick lunch, this time at a deli, we took the subway BACK fourteen stops to the hotel. Since it’s been 90 degrees in NYC, I wanted to shower before heading to my editors office!

We got a nice tour, some free books, and generally walked around pretending we weren’t total posers.



As we were leaving, my editor mentioned a chocolate shop across the street so of course we needed gelato.

We’d taken a cab to the office, but afterward, we got to ride MORE subway trains and since it was now five, so did all of Manhattan. I’m pretty sure I felt up at least one poor woman.

We made it to the hotel in time to brush our teeth and go back out the door. We were meeting a friend’s daughter and her husband for dinner, and since I was over the subway, we walked.  It was only about eight blocks, no biggie.



Until we came outside and found it raining. Luckily, New Yorkers have that down to a science and before the sidewalks could get damp, several impromptu umbrella salesmen had set up shop. We had a $5.00 umbrella before we’d gotten to the cross street.

And now, I’m finally back in bed. Whew. I’m going to be exhausted by the time I get home. And also, fat. And also, BROKE. But I was at least two of those before I left, so no biggie.







Crazy Town

I know I’ve been gone awhile Kittens, but I have heard your heartfelt pleas. Actually there was just ONE, and it was more of a “What have you been doing lately,” than a plea, but you get the idea.

So I’ve been preparing for my big upcoming trip to New York City, and by “preparing” I mean whitening and tightening everything I can. Also, shopping. My friend, Kit, took me to a fancy department store where a lady brought me all kinds of beautiful, TIGHT, clothes to try on. Apparently I have not prepared to the level I should have because she also brought me Spanx. I’m happy to say that some of the items actually looked good on me. I’m sorry to say that all of the items cost more than my couch.



This dress looks fairly basic here, but it’s actually pretty va-voom in person. Of course I may decide at the last minute not to go all fancy and wear this instead:


I think it’s important to maintain a standard.



Hello Again

I know, it’s been a LONG time. So much for my blogging with any kind of consistency. I blame my mother. She and the aunts and Cousin Karen spent the weekend with me and they don’t leave time for anything other than yard sales.

While I was busy with work on Thursday, they hit an estate sale, went shopping, cooked dinner, hung out with my daughter, fed the dog and basically made themselves at home. Which was AWESOME. I wish they’d make themselves at home every weekend! On Friday and Saturday, I hit the yard sales with them. We bought glassware, crockpots, clothing, doll houses, jewelry, chandeliers, shoes, boots, vases, pillows, games, purses and two punch bowls.

Part of the fun of shopping is all of the people you meet. We talked to a bridge player whose wife had just died, a fellow who would perform free-style rap for $1.00, and a diet enthusiast who claims the Whole 30 diet is the stuff of dreams.

After the gang left town, I collapsed in the bed until my brother bought Baby A and Rimfire over to spend the night. I fed the toddler anything she wanted, including lots of ice-cream, and forced the teens to watch Sense and Sensibilities.

Everybody loves Alan Rickman!

Sunday we went to church, ate a nice brunch out, then I went downtown to participate in a townhall meeting about bridge.

So my weekend consisted of hanging out with peddlers, watching Jane Austen, and discussing Whist.  I’m sure all those years spent reading Historical Romances has no bearing on my present life.


Kindred Spirits

Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables, died last week. As it is the best movie EVER, I made my daughter and niece watch it tonight.


We watched the whole thing, screaming at Anne’s crazy antics, crying over the sad parts, and swooning at sweet Gilbert Blythe. It was a big hit and I was sorry to tell the girls Gilbert had died.

RIP, Jonathan Crombie.




Goings On and What-Not


Before I tell you about my weekend, I wanted to pass on some information that I gleaned while in California. Up until a week ago, when I heard the term “Unisex” as in “Denny’s will now have unisex bathrooms”, I thought that meant a bathroom that can be used by both men and women. You know, like the ones you have in your own house! Uh, no, that is NOT what that means. It means that when you are dying to go to the bathroom and you’re stuck on a beach in Oceanside watching an Ironman race and finally find one inside a pavilion, while you are in one stall doing YOUR business, a man can be in the stall RIGHT NEXT DOOR, doing his. If you just upchucked your breakfast, welcome to my world.

Now back to more pleasant things – my weekend! This was one of the better ones because it had the perfect ratio of friends:family:rest.

Friday night we were invited to participate in a Seder dinner.

  1. The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible.

The family who invited us was nice enough to include Moon so we had her look up all of the food/symbolism before we went. During the dinner, she filled the role of the “children” by reciting certain lines and looking for the matzah. In the car ride home I asked her if she had enjoyed it. She said, “It was one of my favorite things we’ve done all year!”

Okay, then. So much for taking her to Savannah/Chicago/Charleston/Nashville/SanDiego! Next year we’ll just hand her a Jewish calendar and be done with it.

Saturday, we went to Waffle House for breakfast, then did some shopping. Once a year we get to send gifts to India (Hey, I’ve BEEN to India!) and they were supposed to be there by the 9th. No big deal except that for some reason the date on my watch was wrong and said that Saturday was the 7th! If you got knocked down by the Tyres running through Target, know that it was for a good cause.

Sunday was Easter so we joined millions of other Christians dressed in pastels and went to church. AmmoGuy and his family had invited us over afterward for lunch where I ate more carbs in one sitting than I have the last two months. We watched some egg hunting, then came home where I crashed on the couch for a good, long nap.

I only got up because my husband had promised to take some photos for a little something I like to call MY AUTHOR PICTURE. You know, the one on the back of my BOOK? My publisher has one but it’s from a few years ago when I was younger and skinnier, so I thought we might need to update it. Then JD shot a bunch of pictures of the current me and I decided if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ll just request that they install coated plexiglass at all of my book signings and people can slide their books underneath, thus preventing them from seeing the real, un-retouched version. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, amiright Kittens?

How was YOUR Easter?

5 Random Things

1. I bought new underwear for our trip to San Diego. They were on a table marked 5 for 19.00 bucks so I grabbed some and threw them in my suitcase. When we got to our hotel, I noticed one pair said “Single-ish” on the backside. My husband was not amused.

2. Every blog post should have a graphic. My computer is being super slow so I can’t upload one. #FAIL

3. I found this today and it made me very happy!

4. A gentleman came to my house today and removed a groundhog. Only 14 more to go!

5. Grumpy does not even begin to describe my bad mood these past few mornings. Someone today asked me if I could table a discussion and I thought, “I can TABLE YOU!”

What’s going on with you?



SanDiego, Go!

My company sent me to a convention last week, so Team Tyre decided to use it as an opportunity to explore the west coast. We went a day early so that I wouldn’t be wiped out by the time change, and so we could look around, but mostly that last one. We had lunch in Coronado, sat on the beach in La Jolla, and ate in every restaurant in San Diego. After the convention, I watched my homegirl, Kyra, run a half Ironman. It was kinda fabulous.

At the convention I took a class called How to Blog with Consistency. I guess time will tell if it was worth the 1200.00 bucks. Spoiler alert: probably not. Other things I learned, every post should include a graphic:


Here’s Moon learning about alternative energy sources.

Moon learned a lot on this trip. Like how celebrities will thwart paparzzi by wearing the same clothes over and over so that it looks like the photos were taken on the same day, thus limiting their sales potential. One night before dinner, I told her to wear my blue jean shirt in case it got cold. She didn’t take it off for five days. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop her dad from photographing her constantly.


We’re not worried about sales potential, obviously.

After the conference, we decided to drive to Los Angeles and fly home from there. It wasn’t my favorite city – WAY too many people, but I kinda fell in love with our hotel.


The view from our suite’s balcony overlooking the harbor in Marina Del Rey. You know you’re staying in the wrong part of town when you keep waiting for the concierge to tell you that your card has been declined. We were only able to stay the one night, but it was one, very awesome, night. As Moon said, “That was the best pullout sofa I’ve ever slept on!”

Hey, we didn’t want to spoil her with an actual bed!

Before leaving, we decided to show Moon how the 1% live by walking around Rodeo Drive.


Then we showed her how the 99% live by gawking at everyone and leaving without buying anything.

Now it’s back to real life where my bedroom view consists of a Burger King and a WalMart. At least there’s still plenty of opportunities to gawk.


She’ll Be Coming Down the Mountain

I expect my mother any second. Moon and I drove to Tennessee on Friday to visit with her, hang out, and drop off my dogs for the week. Okay, mostly that last one. Dogs? That’s right. Freeda has been trying out a new dog named FINLEY for a couple of weeks. Freeda likes him. I like him. Guess what two sour-pusses in the house don’t??

My mom and dad aren’t looking for another dog, but if one suddenly turned up on the mountain, what are they going to do, NOT keep him? You obviously don’t know my parents.



Besides, look at this cutey-patooty.

The only issue with this dog AT ALL is that his bark is slightly high-pitched. Imagine a squeaky wheel going around and around about a hundred times and played through a megaphone one inch from your ear. That’s not loud enough. But besides that, he’s perfect!

Freeda is much quieter. Her only issue is that when she was a puppy, she used to take off for long stretches. We started giving her treats every time she came in the door so that she’d figure out that coming home was a good thing. Now she tends to go out and in a lot. Imagine a revolving door going around and around about a hundred times except that you have to get up and hand the dog a treat every time she comes into view. That’s not aggravating enough. But besides that, she’s perfect!

Good thing my mom is known for being long-suffering and patient.

Hey, she never kicked Tania-the-Mad down the mountain. If she can put up with her, what’s a yapping, aggravating dog or two?


It’s Come to This

This is what I’m eating for four days:

1/2 cup of coconut milk

1/2 cup mango

1/4 cup white kidney beans

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla

Blended together to make a pudding OR blended together with ice and water to make a smoothie.

If I get crazy, I’ll substitute the mango for 3 dates, add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and make it chocolate!

Why? Because it’s supposed to make me lose 8 pounds over 4 days. Why else???

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict a Moron Test Kitchen Grade of F.




Spring Forward Into Bed

Are you guys still here? I’d completely forgotten that I even had a blog. To be honest, I’ve been kinda nutso. I blame the time change. For the past two nights I’ve fallen asleep at NINE. This is putting a serious dent into my TV binge-watching time. (Have you seen the new Netflix show, The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt? Hilarious!)

But back to me. So this weekend I went to a BOARD meeting which is where I helped make serious long-term decisions about a local ministry. Yes. I. Did. You need a lot of skill to be involved at this high level like, being holy and nodding at the appropriate times.  Not everyone can pull it off.

Monday was a work day and I’m not sure what happened but I was in the WORST mood. Let’s retrace my steps. 1) Took Moon to horseback riding at 8 a.m., 2) Went to gym and rode a bike and lifted weights. 3) Worked 4) Went BACK to gym and did two miles on the elliptical. OH, I see now. EVERYTHING I hate (getting up early, not MOON) in one day.

Tuesday started off as bad because I made the mistake of weighing. I don’t know what I was thinking. I mean, sure I worked out TWICE in one day and had, gluten-free cereal and rice milk for breakfast, 3 boiled eggs for lunch and a salad with salmon, but it’s not like I was DIETING or anything. Of course I can’t lose weight like that! Who eats THREE boiled eggs? Stupid, *&$^%* pig!

Whew. Perhaps the mood still lingers a bit.

The best part of today was that I received some essential oils from my sister. The LAVENDER is supposed to relieve stress. It totally worked. JD was having a bad day of his own and so I chased him around and put lavender on his ears. Laughing at other people really helps lighten the mood, amiright Kittens?